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Ketela v. State

Florida Court of Appeals, Fifth District

October 25, 2019

WILLIAM CHARLES KETELA, JR., Appellant,
v.
STATE OF FLORIDA, Appellee.

         NOT FINAL UNTIL TIME EXPIRES TO FILE MOTION FOR REHEARING AND DISPOSITION THEREOF IF FILED

          Appeal from the Circuit Court for Putnam County, Howard O. McGillin, Jr., Judge.

          David Maldonado, of The Maldonado Law Firm, P.A., Lakeland, for Appellant.

          Ashley Moody, Attorney General, Tallahassee, and Kristen L. Davenport, Assistant Attorney General, Daytona Beach, for Appellee.

          PER CURIAM.

         AFFIRMED.

          ORFINGER and WALLIS, JJ., concur.

          LAMBERT, J., concurring, in part, and dissenting, in part.

         Pursuant to a plea agreement, William Charles Ketela, Jr., was adjudicated guilty of being a principal to the manufacture of methamphetamine and was sentenced by the trial court to serve eighteen months in prison, with appropriate jail credit awarded. Ketela appealed, and in the instant appeal, his court-appointed counsel filed what is commonly referred to as an Anders[1] Brief, representing to this court that after a careful review of the record on appeal and the relevant statutes and case law, he could find no meritorious argument to warrant reversal. I concur with affirming the judgment and sentence imposed, albeit with one exception.

During the plea colloquy, the trial court advised Ketela as follows:
The court is required to assess certain fees and costs as part of the sentence, including $100 cost of investigation. If you wish to, you can have a hearing on whether that $100 amount is correct or you can accept the $100 amount. Do you want to waive the hearing and have me adjudicate the $100 cost of investigation amount?

         Ketela agreed to "accept" the $100 charge, and the trial court imposed the $100 investigative costs against Ketela and in favor of the Putnam County Sheriff's Office.

         The trial court was incorrect when it stated that it was required to impose a $100 costs of investigation charge. While under section 938.27(8), Florida Statutes (2018), the court must impose a minimum $100 assessment against a defendant for the costs of prosecution for a felony offense, no similar $100 minimum investigative costs charge exists under this statute. Instead, the statute reads, in pertinent part:

(1) In all criminal and violation-of-probation or community-control cases, convicted persons are liable for payment of the costs . . . including investigative costs incurred by law enforcement agencies, by fire departments for arson investigations, and by investigations of the Department of Financial Services or the Office of Financial ...

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